Faithfulness is remaining steadfast in allegiance, keeping promises, and fulfilling duties given.
Daniel was getting on in years at this point, probably in his seventies, but he was still serving as a distinguished administrator in Babylon and close to the new ruler of the kingdom. His reputation went before him: he was ‘trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.’ (Dan. 6:4). The king had great respect for him and planned to set him over the whole kingdom as the prime minister.
God doesn’t promise to always deliver us out of trouble, but he will always be with us through the problem.
However, there was great jealousy among the upper ranks of the civil service. When they could not find fault with Daniel in his work or his behaviour, they determined to trap him. A new decree was written, hastily signed off, and presented to the king as a very good idea, with a considerable amount of flattery applied: anyone found praying to any god or human besides the king would be thrown into the lions’ den. On learning of the publication of the decree, Daniel went home and did what he had always done: he knelt down and prayed. He knew what the outcome would be.
God had answered Daniel’s prayers before. As a young man, facing execution along with his friends if they failed, they had pleaded for God to have mercy on them and to reveal the mystery of the king’s dream. God had answered, the king was impressed, and the four friends received promotion in their employment.
Daniel went home and did what he had always done: he knelt down and prayed. He knew what the outcome would be.
But there was a different king now and Daniel was alone. It was a test of his faithfulness to the God of Israel worshipped by his fathers and his people hundreds of kilometres away. So, Daniel was thrown into the den of hungry lions, but it was the king who could not sleep while there was an angel guarding Daniel. The next morning the king was overjoyed to find that Daniel was alive and well, without any wounds, ‘because he had trusted in his God’ (Dan. 6:23).
For us too, the greatest test of our trust in God may be when we are alone or accused of doing wrong. God doesn’t promise to always deliver us out of trouble, but he will always be with us through the problem. His purposes are often far greater than our individual circumstances allow us to see, and in our faithfulness to a faithful God, may he be glorified, and many come to know him.
Pauline Renfrew, The Church of God in Hayes